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THE MUSICAL TIMES.— September 1, 1855.
THE MUSICAL TIMEl
antr Singing #las0 Circular.
SEPTEMBER 1st, 1855.
Contributed by E. Holmes.
(Continued from page 85.)
Likb Mozart's first Mass in comparison with
the rest, this of Haydn takes precedence of all
his other Masses : — the first in number, and in
excellence. We have need to remember the
peculiarities of Haydn — especially the joyful
spirit which he carried into religion — to accept
this composition as a sacred work ; for the
voluptuous pleasure of the ear was never more
excited than by the beautiful melodies, sparkling
orchestral accompaniments, marked rhythm, and
phrases that at once reach the heart, existing in
this Mass ; and nowhere in richer abundance.
It is the offering of a genial imagination — the
artist delighting in his work — at the altar of
joy. In defence of the florid style of Haydn's
sacred music, the sentiments of the composer
himself may be referred to in the work called
Letters on Haydn : — " Whenever he thought
on God, he could only conceive of him as a being
infinitely great, and infinitely good. He added
that this last quality of the divine nature inspired
him with such confidence and joy, that he could
have written even a Miserere in tempo allegro."
The Mass No. 1, in B flat, in addition to the
four vocal and stringed parts, contains in its
score oboes, bassoons, trumpets, and drums, and
in some of the movements clarinets. It is there-
fore designed for a large, orchestra ; but its chief
peculiarity is to be more conspicuous than some
others in its parts for voices ; for Haydn, like
Mozart, was so attached to the sound of the
orchestra, as often to have made the voices
subordinate, and to have produced symphony
movements with choral accompaniment, rather
than vocal compositions. The Kyr'ie is full of
musical impulse and fire ; it is marked by Haydn's
chords of predilection, and is the evident product
of a glowing fancy. Twelve bars Adagio, of
stately movement, and similar notes in voices and
instruments, introduce it : —
- - n - e
^= =±±=3 =
fKy - - -
After the two bars which correspond to the
above, occurs a Gp in the bass, which is a stroke
of the master, and which might, in the phrase of
Gluck, be described as a note which " draws
The effect of the sforzando of the orchestra
on the chord of £ on the G flat, will be remem-
bered with delight by every musician who has
heard this Mass. Haydn enjoyed it, and so
doubtless did Mozart. Modern music has many
instances of a single note or harmony of such
reach as to " make the whole world kin." The
Allegro moderato begins piano with a melo-
dious theme : —
Ky - ri - e
le - i - son.
The first orchestral forte after the correspond-
ing bars, is a complete and characteristic specimen
of Haydn. What spirit in the two violin parts !
What an exhilirating burst the Kyrie of the
chorus ! —
These two bars repeated and extended into
four, the chorus proceeds accompanied by some
extremely pretty fiddling. The two violins play
in unison in the annexed passage : —
THE MUSICAL TIMES.— September 1, 1855.
' t=, - 4 ^EHE5ife
- — k — ^jaj»^i ^^r — F — i — — *■" ' —
son, e - lei - -
If there is somewhat of levity in this progres-
sion, the dignity of the orchestral and choral
chords on the pedal F, with which this passage
concludes, amply redeems it. The subject of the
fugato is kept up only for thirteen bars, but it is
interwoven from time to time with the rest of the
Kyrie : —
Bass. _.._„_ 4i *£:£ ! V
Ky - ri - e e - lei-son, e - lei - son.
Counterpoint then gives place to orchestral
effect : the chorus is conducted to a fortissimo
on the chord of F minor, and a passage of repose
follows on its dominant. This pedal note of
the first violins has rejoiced many a hearer — the
distribution of the harmony is beautiful : —
Ky - -
Ky - ri
The full score of this passage may be thus made
out — the oboes double the alto and tenor voices
an octave above, the viola and bassoon play in
unison with the bass voice. The violins continue
a passage of exulting joy : —
^^^EJ^j fe feggg^K
Melodies so bright, gushing forth and kept up
without abatement from the beginning to the end
of a movement, are seldom found in music. The
Christe divides the Kyrie into two parts. The
second part principally repeats the first — but the
final cadence is introduced by this forcible and
dramatic effect of the choral unison : —
Bass. -K y " ri- e
On the third recurrence of the chromatic phrase,
it falls with starling energy on a $ on A flat,
the voices spread out in harmony. This beauti-
ful composition displays the advancement of music
after Mozart had written his operas and sym-
phonies. The date of Haydn's first six Masses
must be in the years approaching 1790.
Unison effects form a great feature of the
Gloria, which is designed in three movements.
The first of these begins with a vociferous jubi-
lation on the common chord and its relatives.
With the first piano for the stringed instruments,
the attention is arrested — the melodies become
full of sweetness. The syncopated phrase — six
bars answering four — at bonce voluntatis, ex-
presses sentiments of beauty and tenderness in all
the parts. This passage is inimitable, and remains
alone in music.
Beethoven seems to have been anticipated in
an effect shortly to be observed. The orchestra
and chorus re-echo this phrase : —
^ I Lauda-mus
After these echoes responding for six bars,
occurs the following mysterious unison passage,
a hint in good time for Beethoven : —
THE MUSICAL TIMES.— September 1, 1855.
This effect of orchestral coloring seems scarcely
to belong to the last century.
The Gratias, G- minor, %, opens with a quar-
tet* of voices of such melodious counterpoint
that the instruments accompany in duplicate.
The tenor leads off —
Gra - ti-as a - gimus te
All that the movement of parts can accomplish
for expression, this movement shows. Passing
the beautifully-conducted first twelve bars, let us
take the four following for an example. What
can show greater elegance of thought or richness
of invention ? —
Do-mine De - us Rex
cce - les - tis
' v i . r I
Do-mine De - us Eex coe - les - tis
This sedate and expressive movement goes off
into a chorus in | —
Qui tol - - lis.
a piece of close counterpoint fugato. The Mise-
rere, uttered by the chorus in unison, while the
orchestra sustain the chords, is dramatically effec-
tive, and there is a more imposing instance of
this at the words Qui sedes. The Quoniam con-
sists of an orchestral introduction and a fugue on
two subjects, one of the finest that ever fell from
the pen of composer. The principal und the
counter-subject begin at once with animation —
■ Allegro vivace.
ilo - ri- a De - i Pa - trii
men A - men,
introducing one of the most brilliant examples of
a fugue clearly conducted to the end in the
double counterpoint of the octave and the tenth.
At once beautiful and scientific, it has never been
excelled by Haydn, even in his oratorios.
Of the profusion of melodies in this Mass the
Credo is an example ; its simple joyous opening
pleases every ear. The Et incarnatus, in E flat,
2, Adagio, is of poetical design and profound
expression ; opening in the form of a round for
women's voices, it is followed by a trio for men,
and a magnificent tutti piano of the choir. The
Passus tells of an advanced period of music, and
of Beethoven, in the bare intervals ; octaves hold-
ing in treble and tenor, and moving in alto and
bass : —
Adagio. Passus, Pas
This crescendo possesses an awful beauty, and is,
in its elevation of feeling, sublime. Peculiar
sentiments connected with the Et incarnatus
wrought upon the genius of Haydn, and trans-
ported him beyond himself in this department of
his Masses. He is often successful in setting
these words. The closing bars are the first
subject sung tutti piano, producing angelical
sweetness of effect. A study in the art of accom-
paniment is presented in the few notes and
delicate touches, of the score, especially in the
manner in which the clarinets and bassoons aid
At Et resurrexit, the Allegro proceeds in |,
with music of a vigorous and dramatic coloring,
fitted to introduce one of the most sprightly
efforts of genius inthe whole work — the accom-
panied Amen fugue Et vitam —
THE MUSICAL TIMES.— September 1, 1855.
Without one moment's relaxation, this impetuous
violin part is maintained throughout the fugue ;
the effect is indescribably brilliant. The tempo
is quick, like the minuet of a symphony ; and the
melodious voice parts, with the vivacity of the
violins, keep the hearer in an ecstacy of enjoyment
No one could have produced this delightful fugue
but Haydn — the character of the subjects and
accompaniment, vivace assai, in triple time, is
marked by the speciality of his genius. It is
probable that he was the inventor of the fugue
The Sanctus and Pleni sunt Cceli are inferior
to the rest of the work. The Osanna is very
pretty. This point of clear natural imitation is
the work of a master : —
O-san - na
O-san-na in ex- eel - sis, in ex -
Nothing better becomes the lucid Haydn than
a playful strain of counterpoint. The Benedictus
in E flat, begins with the theme for a quartet
movement, and is a very elegant piece of music.
We miss in it, however, that religious sweetness
and celestial character which in Mozart's treat-
ment of the Benedictus seem an inspiration of
the Divinity. The Agnus Dei, in B flat minor,
looks like a leaf out of the " Seven last words " —
the style is closely similar to those celebrated
Adagios. It is accompanied only by stringed
instruments, depending upon the beauty of the
melodious parts for its interest, and in this respect
it is perfection. After two bars from the instru-
ments, staccato and piano, to excite attention,
the choir begins mezzo forte : —
Ag - nus De - i,
j A d agio. . m^, Vio. J"— .
Vio> 1— '
35-r— — -0- — | J-r-» '■*■*- m-pjL—mHtzer-
r-r- ,_^p p.
Ag - nus De - i
Basti. sf P
This mournful theme reminds of the Passione.
The second principal theme is in D flat major —
the melody is original in the accent, and of refined
elegance : —
Closing as the movement does, in a strain of
extreme solemnity, it might be perhaps objected
that the change to the vivacious Dona is some-
what over-sudden. Such a vigorous masculine
energy, however, pervades this finale, that it soon
quiets objections, and carries the hearer with it
in its triumphant course. The pulses of delight
beat high through this noble work. The genial
humanity of the composer is present to us in all
the symphonies and melodies of this Mass ; the
love of the thing in him was great; and truly
music is never so delightful as when " from the
fulness of the heart the pen speaketh."
(To be continued.)
AMONG THE POETS AND POETICAL WRITERS.
By. Maby Cowden Clakke.
(Continued from page 86. )
It would be injustice to advert to Shelley's renowned
poem on the Sky-lark, without giving it entire.
Throughout, it is musical, — in its poetic harmony, its
subject, and its exciting beauty.
" Hail to thee, blithe spirit 1
Bird thou never wert,
That from heaven, or near it,
Pourest thy full heart
In profuse strains of unpremeditated art.
Higher still and higher
From the earth thou springest,
Like a cloud of fire !
The blue deep thou wingest.
And Binging, still dost soar, and soaring ever singest.
In the golden lightning
Of the sunken sun,
O'er which clouds are brightening,
Thou dost float and run,
Like an embodied joy, whose race is just begun.
The pale purple even
Melts around thy flight;
Like a star of heaven
In the broad daylight,
Thou art unseen, but yet I hear thy shrill delight.
Keen as are the arrows
Of that silver sphere,
Whose intense lamp narrows
In the white dawn clear,
Until we hardly see, we feel that it is there.
All the earth and air
With thy voice is loud,
As, when night is bare,
From one lonely cloud
The moon rains out her beams, and heaven is overflowed.
What thou art, we know not ;
What is most like thee ?
From rainbow clouds there flow not
Drops so bright to see,
As from thy presence showers a rain of melody.